Balanced Flavors, Balanced Diet

Fresh Tomatoes and Basil

Cooking well for oneself, both in nutritional quality and good food, takes a lot of practice. There are a lot of things that one can do to make the whole process a little easier, and that is choose fresh, high quality ingredients, and to choose simple recipes.

Two of the most difficult things to increase in a regular diet are add whole grains and vegetables. Both of these food groups can be difficult both texturally and flavor wise. The modern American palate is very much accustomed to the mouth feel of processed foods, and finds it pleasant. In many cases, the modern American palate also prefers blandness or simplicity of flavor, and that is just plain unfortunate. There are a multitude of food choices out there that are healthy, satisfying, and complex, and many of them are also easy for the home cook to prepare at home. A few different pointers can make the process simple, and delicious.

Battling texture is a real challenge when working with fresh or dried ingredients such as kale or uncooked whole grains. The method to winning the battle requires a little bit of experimentation, but is well worth the effort. Whole grains, if they are not cooked into mushy nothingness (think of oatmeal) can really benefit from the addition of fresh vegetables and a vinaigrette dressing. This essentially pickles the vegetables and marinates the grain itself, driving the flavor into the grain...which can then be considered a flavor delivery device. Onions, celery, cucumbers, peppers, dried fruits, beans, herbs, and more benefit from this treatment, and if the quantity of the additions is sufficient, the often coarser texture of the cooked whole grains is much less noticeable. In addition, the vinaigrette adds an acid bite and freshness to the whole concoction, leaving a colorful, delicious, satisfying, and healthy melange on the plate.

For recipes that taste great and work with any MRC menu plan, visit the Metabolic Research Center website. 


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